DURBAN: South Africa’s former president, Mr Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial has been postponed to 10 August.
Judge Piet Koen handed down the judgement during a high court sitting in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.
This was after Mr Zuma’s lawyers argued that their client would be stripped of his dignity if the trial were to be heard virtually on Monday.
One of his legal representatives advocate Thabani Masuku said, “[i]f there was no disturbance to the court. If Mr Zuma was able to be physically in court, there would be absolutely no complaint.”
The matter relates to the 1990s multibillion-rand arms deal where Mr Zuma allegedly benefited from kickbacks. Mr Zuma and his co-accused French arms manufacturer Thales face multiple charges of fraud, corruption and racketeering.
On Monday, his lawyers argued that the virtual hearing of his case would compromise his right to a fair trial. But the National Prosecuting Authority dismissed that as another delaying tactic by the former president.
Mr Zuma had asked for his fraud and corruption trial scheduled to take place in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Monday to be postponed for a week.
He was set to make a “special plea” to be acquitted without trial. His lawyers say he wants to testify orally as part of this plea.
In an application to the court, Mr Zuma’s lawyers have cited violent disruptions preventing them from meeting with him as a key reason for asking for the postponement.
They are also against a digital hearing